Here are five things to keep an eye on heading into Monday’s Game 4 between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies.
You can watch a livestream of Mike Ceide giving you the keys to the game tonight in the player above.
1- First Quarter — As well as the Grizzlies have played for most of this series, they have really struggled in the first quarter. Utah is outscoring the Grizz by over nine points a game in the opening quarter of this series— 31.3 points to only 22 for Memphis. That slow start has had the Grizzlies playing from behind for most of the series. A better start could put more pressure on the favored Jazz. Let’s see what things look like with the Grizzlies playing from out in front.
2- Mike Conley — Conley will always be beloved in Memphis. Part of the famed Core Four that led the Grizzlies to seven straight playoff appearances and the 2013 Western Conference Finals. But that was then–now, Conley has become a huge thorn in the side of the Grizzlies. Conley is averaging a double double in this series, 23 points and 11 assists. He’s also hit 12 of his last 20 3-pointers in the last two games with Utah knocking down 19 triples in its back to back wins. Conley has always loved the Forum saying after Game 3, “it’s still one of my favorite places to play.” Grizzlies need to find a way for Conley to have an off night in the Grindhouse for Game 4.
3- Ja Morant ‘I’m on my Grizzly’ — This J Cole lyric is key to evening up this best of 7 playoff series tonight. Not that Morant hasn’t already done most of the heavy lifting for the Grizz through the first three games, becoming one of just four players in NBA history to score 100 points or more in his first three career playoff games. The Grizzlies will need even more from Morant as the Jazz have yet to find anyone that can really slow down the reigning Rookie of the Year, scoring 26, 47 and 28 points over the first three games. ‘I’m on my Grizzly’ is also what’s on tonight’s Growl Towel, so there’s that.
4- Grayson Allen — With all the focus on Morant and Dillon Brooks, the Jazz are going to make someone else hit big shots. That someone else in Game 3 was Grayson Allen. After scoring a total of five points in the first two games of the series, Allen came off the bench to knock down 5 3’s and score 17 points, helping rally the home team from 15 down and into the lead with 5 minutes to go in Game 3. Allen has 22 of the 59 bench points from the Grizz in this series.
5- 95% — This is not a must-win game for the Grizzlies in Game 4, but it’s pretty close. In the history of the NBA Playoffs, a team that takes a 3-1 series lead goes on to win said series 95% of the time. It’s only happened 13 times in 260 opportunities. We also don’t want tonight to be the final home game of the season, right? A win tonight not only evens the series at 2. It also guarantees a Game 6 at the Grindhouse on Friday night.